Controversial Clothing: How Much is Too Much?

The trends in fashion over the past ten or so years have taken a somewhat dark turn, and sometimes, extremely offensive. For some reason, tragedy is glorified and even after the offenses the fashion industry barely even apologizes for the controversies they portray and sell to the masses. It is true that controversy stirs up audiences and brings attention to the people behind them, so this may be why they are continually used in fashion, but is fashion enough reason to continue offending large amounts of people?

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These first sets of photos by Raj Shetye depict a woman who seems to be trying to defend herself from numerous men. These photos were released to the public after the December 2012 New Delhi gang rape, that left its’ victim dead after the assaults. Buss Feed News explained how “The men had not only gang raped her but also penetrated her with a metal rod and used their hands to tear out her inner organs.” Obviously this incident was not anything to depict or glamorize. When asked if the photos were related to the gang rape Shetye denied that that the two were related. He also explained how “the aim is to create art that will gather some reaction in society.” “The Wrong Turn” which is the name of the photos, proves that the photographer was in extremely bad taste with his concepts. The fact that the woman is in glamorous clothing proves that the intent was not to condemn the crimes, but instead to sell an innapropriate concept.Reactions and the desire to be noticed obviously outweigh respect and common sense in some cases.


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Here are a few more examples of ads that have glamorized violence or taking advantage of women.

Another questionable area is the over sexualized portrayal of children in the industry. Frankly, we all know that sex sells, but with children it takes a creepy turn for the worst. It seems that in every other aspect of society these issues are frowned upon, but for some reason countless photographers and fashion stylists are okay with the uncomfortable images they sell to their customers.


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In many ads today the sexual depiction of children has become popular in many ads that sell clothing as well. Over time the fashion industry has become seemingly okay with the fact that children are being styled in extremely inappropriate ways. Why does a child need to be sexy in order to sell clothes? Personally I am not sure what this accomplishes or how it benefits anyone promoting or buying the clothes, but there must be a reason because it keeps occurring.

The topics discussed in this post are only a few of many. It has also been a trend to glamorize death, massacres, and starvation in women. As someone who enjoys and appreciates tasteful fashion and clothing, I hope that these distasteful trends dwindle out as people become more aware of them. The best way to do so is to not support companies who depict child exploitation or violence in a glamorous way. Lots of times people in the fashion industry go for shock value, but it is never okay to express “art” as something that has caused harm to anyone unless it is raising awareness in a positive way.

2 thoughts on “Controversial Clothing: How Much is Too Much?

  • November 8, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    I find it really uncomfortable and sickening that some people find it okay to have young children in sultry clothing. This portrayal can influence young children into thinking that they must dress provocatively, in order to seem important. I think that these fashion magazines need to stop this portrayal in their magazines.

  • November 15, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Woah. I would call these ads problematic but that is too nice of a word. I personally think these kinds of publicity “stunts” are disgusting. As you said, sex sells, and I get that, but I think the line is drawn when it comes to hurting other people, which these advertisements imply.


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